Ham-fisted Punch fells ex-Bond
Opening with a barman preparing a martini – shaken not stirred – The Love Punch is a ham-fisted caper that nods affectionately to leading man Pierce Brosnan’s years of service as James Bond.
Indeed, the film’s centre-piece jewel theft would have been effortlessly executed by 007 in mere minutes.
However, writer-director Joel Hopkins’s third feature isn’t concerned with the finer points of pilfering a £10 million diamond from a heavily guarded mansion on the Cote d’Azur.
His script is intentionally divorced from reality. Somehow, the first-time criminals manage to throw grappling hooks up hundreds of feet in order to scale a mountainside in ill-fitting wet suits, then smuggle the gem in a hiding place that would result in horrific injuries for one of the team.
When the couple need sensitive information, they video conference their teenage son (Jack Wilkinson) and call upon his dubious talents as a hacker.
The Love Punch is not great art and the outcome is achingly predictable, but the on-screen chemistry of Brosnan and Emma Thompson fizzes and there are some laughs amidst the nonsense.
It’s simplistic, lightweight fluff, which uses the robbery as a plot device to reunite Richard and Kate then stoke the embers that smoulder between them.
Thompson and Brosnan are an attractive pairing and they bring a veneer of class to proceedings, which is otherwise lacking.
Both actors appear to be having a blast in the film’s sun-baked Riviera locations, and Spall and Imrie add depth to colourful supporting characters, who view their collusion in the theft as a catalyst to re-invigorate their marriage. A candlelit meal for two closer to home would surely be a simpler and cheaper option.